Miles from home, disillusioned Syrians say air strikes 'not enough'

May ready to bypass Parliament & approve UK military intervention in Syria – BBC

Tom Nicholson Global Look Press

At the United Nations, Russia's diplomats vetoed a U.S. motion to re-establish an worldwide investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria that could have established blame.

Mr Trump said the joint strikes against the Syrian regime were "perfectly executed". The sky looked orange over eastern Damascus apparently as a result of fires caused by the missiles hitting Syria.

Jordan, he said, stands with the Syrians' right to end their suffering and the crisis in their country, calling for honest efforts to reach a political solution to the crisis.

He said France has "no doubt" that the Syrian government was behind a suspected chemical attacks last weekend.

"A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad", Trump said in a televised address from the White House.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has reportedly been arguing for a cautious response that would minimize the risk of the United States being dragged deeper into Syria's civil war.

"This aggression will only make Syria and its people more determined to keep fighting and crushing terrorism in every inch of the country", he said.

Mattis described them as a "one-time shot" to send a strong message to Assad not to use chemical weapons again.

It's not clear how Syria or its allies, Russian Federation and Iran, will respond to the attack.

Syria's foreign ministry denounced the strikes as a "brutal, barbaric aggression" and suggested they were aimed at "hindering" the work of inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons due to start in Damascus later today.

"Arrogant Trump wanted to vent to prove he's a man", Damascus resident Issam Dahi, who sells auto parts, said by telephone.

British jets have fired missiles at a Syrian military facility near Homs suspected of storing chemical weapon ingredients, Britain's defense ministry said.

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U.S. and Russian Federation fight at United Nations over #Syria chemical weapons attacks
A Russian-drafted resolution won three votes at the Security Council, far below the nine votes required for adoption. Reaction from the worldwide community to the strikes has ranged widely on Saturday.

Russian Federation has warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences". Trump said. "Hopefully someday we will get along with Russian Federation, and maybe even Iran - but maybe not". "These three targets seemed to hit the sweet spot and do that", McKenzie said.

At a Pentagon news conference alongside Mattis, and with British and French military officers beside them to emphasize allied unity, Dunford said the attacks targeted mainly three targets in western Syria.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the action was narrowly focused on Syria's chemical weapons facilities while May insisted there was no intention to interfere in the broader civil war that has engulfed the country since 2011.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this year's strike was more damaging than a similar attack the USA military conducted last year and will have a lasting impact on the regime's ability to produce chemical weapons.

Vladimir Putin's Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, referred to the bombings as an "insult" to the president.

In the days between the attack in Douma and the US-led response, Washington and Moscow clashed repeatedly in duelling statements and debates.

And Russia, which has backed President Assad since before the start of the conflict in Syria, alleged early Friday that the attack was staged by Britain, a charge rejected by both Britain and the United States.

Speaking to reporters after a closed emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Nebenzia said Russian Federation was very concerned with "the unsafe escalation" of the situation and "aggressive policies" and preparations that some governments were making - a clear reference to the Trump administration and its allies.

In response to the threats, Assad said Thursday that a potential retaliation would be based on "lies" and would seek to undermine his forces' recent advances near Damascus.

President Donald Trump and his British and French allies say the airstrikes were necessary to deter Syria's use of chemical weapons. Still, the EU's goal is to prevent an escalation of the conflict, Mogherini said, calling for an immediate ceasefire and a "genuine political transition" in Syria.

Douma and the sprawling eastern Ghouta region near the capital, Damascus, had been under rebel control since 2012 and was a thorn in the side of President Bashar Assad's government, threatening his seat of power with missiles and potential advances for years.

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